It is late June and I am only just now seeing my first confirmed monarch sighting of the year. This butterfly was moving so quickly that I just barely got a few blurry photos of it. Her wings were faded and ragged, but she did lay at least one egg there on the milkweed here in Asheville. I have not seen any in Chapel Hill. Has anyone else seen any monarchs this year?
I saw several when I was in Columbia.
While we were in Asheville last week, I kept seeing this unusual weed everywhere. It’s leaves were shaped like miniature oak leaves! So I looked it up using the Seek app and it was identified as clammy goose foot. The photo in the app matched the plant I was seeing perfectly.
Clammy goosefoot, what hilarious name! I will not forget it anytime soon.
Sometimes my husband and I go to Asheville to visit our daughter. At the house where we stay there are gardens and several big beautiful trees. There is this one tree though, that is so big. It must be around 400 years old! That’s my best estimate, not being a tree expert or anything.
Lately I’ve been trying to imagine what it must’ve been like around here before it was ever logged. And part of that is that I am noticing the sizes of the trees and especially making note of the extra large trees. Well, this particular tree at the house in Asheville is the largest I’ve seen since I’ve begun this effort.
OK, so it’s really big! The trunk is like a wall it is so wide. About 35 feet up it divides into two branches. Each of these is about the size of a regular large tree. Then after 15 more feet it branches into six very large branches the canopy doesn’t begin until about 50 feet up and the whole tree is probably about 85 feet tall. It is truly a giant!
It’s presence is so quiet and majestic. It’s like being next to an elephant that hasn’t moved in 400 years.
This tree must’ve been standing there watching as the house was built in the 1880s. And it must’ve seen so much history during its lifetime! Why aren’t there more trees like this?
I am thankful that this tree has been allowed to reach its current potential. I would love to see what it looks like in another 400 years.
The first day I saw this blue mushroom,
When I came back the second day to check on it,
there were bits of acorn on top
or so I thought.
A closer look revealed several snails,
enjoying the top of the mushroom.
I believe this is a Lactarius indigo,
commonly known as the indigo milk cap.
They are common all over the world
and they are sold in Asian markets.
I’m still not brave enough to eat a mushroom
that I’ve found!
It was the eve of Midsummer,
After a lengthy lecture on Sondheim,
I went into the woods
and saw four turtles,
Three of them were laying eggs!￼
Here is the turtle that I call Zigzag.
One day I came across this little guy in the woods and as I was admiring his unique markings (all eastern box turtles have unique markings) I noticed that his scutes are in an odd pattern. As I was observing him the word "zigzag" popped into my head. And that is why I call him Zigzag.
The next picture compares the regular scute pattern with Zigzag's pattern.
Now do you see what I mean? This fella really is a one of a kind, even more than most!
Even in the city, there are trees throughout, providing food and shelter to many birds butterflies and bees. The birds especially, like to wake up early and greet the fresh new day with their song. I think of it as a song of gratitude.
In this drawing are some of the birds that I heard. I used the Merlin app to identify them by song, then I found reference for the drawings online as I looked each one up. I knew they were there because I heard them but it’s much harder to see them. They are tiny and they blend in with the abundant leaves of the trees.
It's not always easy
to have a happy and successful marriage.
Indeed it can be quite challenging at times.
But when you do find the right partner,
and make that commitment,
the event is well worth celebrating!
We wish love,
to the new couple!
Since Colombia is so close to the equator, the temperature doesn’t fluctuate enough to create proper seasons as we experience them in North Carolina. Here in Medellin, trees can have all of the seasons at once on their branches. I’ve seen buds, flowers, faded flowers and fruit, all on one tree, all at the same time.
We saw fruit bats tugging at the fruit high up in the trees. Here is a fruit bat enjoying a snack from a nearby tree.